What Are Good Product Photos: A Guide To Measuring Image Quality

Product photography

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Product photos are one of the most important aspects of your website. These photos help people decide whether they want to buy your product or not. According to Salsify, at least 73% of shoppers need to see at least three product photos before making a purchasing decision.

Good product photos have many aspects. These include:

  • Showcasing the key attributes of the picture
  • The correct file format
  • The best resolution
  • Realistically translating the product’s color
  • And more

You must take into account these factors when creating great product photos. So, if you are looking to understand what good photos are and how to measure image quality, you are in the right place.

Here is your complete guide to understanding image quality and great product photography for your online store.

What Are Good Product Photos?

cosmetic photo

Good product photos take many things into account. These include lighting, color, tone, resolution, file format, and more. However, a good product photo and its meaning will vary in each industry.

Of course, photographs have key elements that all industries must adhere to so they can create great pictures. Because of this, it is crucial to know the basics of product photography. Once you do, you can create images of the best quality within no time.

Is There A Best Image Quality?

You might be wondering if there is a standard for the best image quality across all businesses and industries. The truth is that there is no absolute best quality, as this is misleading. You must also ask questions, such as:

  • What is the best image quality for my platform?
  • What do my clients think is the best image quality?
  • How can the products I sell look the best?

Answering these questions will help you define what best means for your business and industry. That is why using the term best fit is more appropriate, as different image qualities will be the best fit for different businesses. Besides that, if you constantly seek the best, it will also increase your time and effort.

So, it is important that you set some best quality parameters for your business and products. It will help you create consistent images with great quality.

7 Standard Product Photo Requirements For Most Retailers

If you are a retailer, there is a standard guide you can follow to produce the best image quality. These are some standard industry practices in product photography. They include:

  • Image Size: It must be at least 500 x 500 pixels. For example, Amazon requires image size to be 2000 x 2000
  • Aspect Ratio: The most common ratio is (1:1), but some might require portrait ratios
  • Format: Common image formats include JPG, JPEG, BMP, PNG, TIFF
  • Resolution: Most e-commerce websites require the image resolution to be between 72 and 300 DPI
  • Negative Space: The product must take up at least 50% of the image. For example, Amazon requires a product to take up at least 85% of the image.
  • Background: It is best to keep the background white for your e-commerce store
  • Recommended Images: At least use four or more product images without any duplication

These are the standard industry practices of most retailers and e-commerce stores. If you are running an online business or store, you can follow these requirements for the best image quality.

(Click to learn 15 Tips For Optimizing Your Images On Amazon

Top Factors To Consider When Creating The Best Image Quality

Now that you understand some basics, it is time to look at image quality in detail. Here are the top factors you must consider when creating the best image quality for your online business.

1. Color

slippers photo

While editing the pictures to make them look vibrant is fine, you must still keep the color realistic. The image must represent the actual color of the product. That is why you must ensure that things such as lighting don’t manipulate the product’s color.

For example, the product color must not be too warm or bright. Instead, you can keep the product next to the image to see if the color best represents the actual product. If it is not, you will be misleading your potential customers.

2. Lighting

An important component of high image quality is the lighting. The light must also reflect the true color of the product. That is because the light will highlight the product’s color and give it a chance to shine.

For example, if you are trying to take pictures of dark objects, then you might need a bright spotlight that will help the background to pop. On the other hand, you can use soft light for vibrant colored products to create balance. Remember that the photo’s vibrancy will be one of the key factors that will draw the customer’s attention to your product.

orange photo

Bright and well-lit photographs will ensure that all the colors are highlighted. It will also avoid a washed-out look. Of course, the product must look realistic by the time you are done.

3. Visual Consistency

Being visually consistent will help you create a brand identity and aid customers in remembering your brand. It is easy to lose consistency from one image to another, especially if they are shot on different days. Whenever you are shooting products, you must create a style guide.

3 different visual photos

The style guide will help you create consistent images according to your brand and other aspects of your business. In the long run, visual consistency will help enhance brand loyalty. That is because your customers will know that you are consistent.

Besides that, it is also vital that you maintain the same product placement and margins within a frame. It will help you create the best visual consistency no matter when or what you are shooting.

4. Reflection Control

Reflection is perhaps the most important skill in product photography. Of course, many of us are tempted to make products look new and shiny. However, reflection control will help you determine how the shine will be conveyed in a product.

Tool reflection comparison photo

For example, if there is too much shine, the product will lose sharpness and detail. On the other hand, the image will look dark if the product is too dull. So, you must control what you can see in the product’s reflection through this skill.

5. Symmetry

Symmetry creates visual appeal and consistency, so it is an important aspect of product photography. Sometimes, the products can be asymmetrical, and they are noticeable under the lens. Such images can irritate the buyer’s eye and lead to a decrease in the attractiveness of a product.

Symmetrical Cup Photos

Every time you take a product photo, you must ensure that the product is symmetrical and has the correct proportions. If you overlook these elements, the images will lose their appeal to the buyer. So, when the final product image is here, you must ensure that the symmetry is intact.

6. Purpose

Finally, you can also determine the image quality from the purpose it serves. If you are creating marketing or branding content, it will always cost you more. Besides that, it will also take more time and resources to create.

Such content should be of high quality because it ends up in a catalog with backgrounds and props. On the other hand, your social media content must also be great quality. After all, social media is all about creating the right visual appeal and aesthetics.

Invest time and resources in getting the best shots with the perfect angles that you can edit. All of this will directly impact your sales.

The Best Product Photography Ideas

Are you confused about what product photographs to take for your e-commerce store? If you are, here are the top ideas that will help you create a collection of high-quality images:

1. The Main Product Photo

Of course, the main photograph is the first image that the customer will see when scrolling through your store. That is why the main image must be clear and identifiable. You can use little negative space with a white background to showcase most of your product.

Amazon Main Image Negative Space Example

In the main image, you can use the Amazon requirements for negative space. That means the product must take 80% of the space in the photograph. Be sure to edit and retouch well so that it looks authentic and realistic.

2. Detailed Product Shot

The detailed product image can zoom into one portion of the item. Doing this will help the customers to understand the product better. The idea behind such an image is to convey accurate information about the product to the customer.

Sweater Detail Sample Photo

For example, if you are in the apparel industry, you must have a detailed product shot. Certain physical features of electronics and such items can’t be seen from afar. So, you need to get up close and shoot product photos that will showcase each aspect of the product.

3. What Is Inside The Box?

Another great product photo idea is to showcase what is inside the box. Many e-commerce stores do not upload a picture of the box and a description of what is inside. This will increase your return rates of the product.

Sample photos of product accessories

For example, according to a survey by SaleCycle, at least 64% of online shoppers said they returned a product because it did not match the box description. That is why you must showcase what is inside the box, especially if your product comes in various pieces.

4. Showing Scale

The problem with many product photos is that people can mistake the size of the product. That is why it is important to have product photos that show the scale of the product against other objects. Showcasing the relative size will help the shopper visualize the product in their space.

Besides that, it will also help shoppers know what to expect, which means a low return rate for you. You can also use these as size comparison photographs that will be useful to the customer.

5. Lifestyle Photos

By lifestyle photos, we mean a shot that will depict the use of your product. You can take different pictures of the product being used in unique settings. For example, if you are selling makeup products, you can have images of models showcasing how to use the product.

lifestyle photos

You can also add a lifestyle element to such photographs to make your products pop. Of course, doing this can be complicated sometimes, so it is not the best strategy for everyone. The idea is to simply showcase the use of your product in the best way possible.

6. Trust Icon

You might be wondering what we mean by a trust icon in the product photo. In simple terms, these are trust symbols that will verify the quality of the product. For example, the trust icons can include industry badges, seals, energy ratings, and more.

trust logo

On the other hand, if you sell cosmetic products, you can use icons for sustainability, organic ingredients, and more. It is crucial that the icons are from reputable industry organizations. These will enhance the confidence and trust of the consumers.

7. Benefits Or Features

You can also include an infographic product image with diagrams or copies to explain the product. It can explain the benefits or features of a product while showcasing important details. Such images help the potential customer to understand why they must select the product.

Advantages sample photo

You can also give examples of various other products that the consumer can use with your product. So, you can also experiment with this product photography idea.

Final Thoughts

That was your complete guide to what are good product photos and the best image quality. You can follow all these guidelines for your e-commerce and online store to create the best product photos. Once you do, it will wow your customers, and they will be more likely to purchase your product.

Remember to always focus on the quality and content of the product images. Once you do, everything will fall into place, and you will have the best product photographs for your online store or website in no time.

Joey Lou
Joey Lou
Hi, I'm the author of this post and I've been in the e-commerce marketplace since 2012, so I understands the visual presentation needed to attract buyers. If you want to take product photos or videos, please feel free to ask me any questions.
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